by Kelly Langevin
On Tuesday, Oct 31, 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov of Uzbekistan drove through a bike lane in a rented pickup truck in Manhattan, New York, killing eight people and injuring 12 others.
Saipov, who claimed to be part of the ISIS extremist group, then proceeded to run up and down the highway waving a pellet and paintball gun and shouting “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” according to The New York Times.
He was shot in the abdomen by a police officer and then brought to the hospital.
The incident sparked outrage and concern from many Central Connecticut State University students, including freshman Tyler Riccitelli.
“When I first read about it in the news it was one of those events that I couldn’t believe that I was reading. It just made me so mad that someone would actually do something so terrible like that,” Riccitelli said. “What made it even worse is that it was so close to home.”
Another CCSU freshman, Michael West, was also concerned by the attack, but not shocked that it took place.
“I wasn’t surprised at all. I’m used to it and that’s sad,” West said.
The act also prompted reactions from higher authorities, including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror, aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” Blasio said.
President Donald Trump criticized the American criminal justice system as “a joke” and a “laughingstock.”
Trump said he was open to trying Saipov in a military court at the American prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
FBI agents found 90 videos related to ISIS fighters who killed prisoners, along with several videos with instructions on how to make an explosive device.
Agents also found 3,800 ISIS-related images, many of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the extremist group.
Federal prosecutors have filed charges against Saipov, accusing him of carrying out a long-planned plot inspired by ISIS propaganda videos.
Officials say Saipov carefully planned the attack on Halloween due to the fact that more people would be on the streets. Authorities found a note claiming the attack was made in the name of ISIS.
Although Saipov has been taken into custody, the investigation is still ongoing.
Authorities are looking into whether Saipov had visited Uzbekistan since moving to the United States in 2010.
CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank also emphasized the idea that terrorism from foreign countries is becoming a greater threat to the American people.
“There has been a significant problem with jihadism in Uzbekistan,” Cruickshank said.
According to CNN, two large jihadi groups are located in the United States. One of them is the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which is said to be associated with ISIS.